Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year, We're Moving!

Make your way over to >> or blog << for updates, lists you never asked for, and information for Love Lion news, published writing, or our interview series. See you there!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Quarter Mile Thunder 'Rolling Two'

Here is a sneak peek at the Grid City compilation with a Quarter Mile Thunder song titled Rolling Two. Check Bandcamp or Reckless Records for copies in January.

Pre-order a digital copy or cassette here.

Rolling Two Written by Ben Clarke    

Performed by  Ben Clarke, Vox and Guitar  
Jim Duffy, Drums  
Jason Eckerson, Bass  
Jim Becker, Fiddle  
Josh Dumas, Vibes    

Recorded at Pieholden Suite Sound by Matt Dewine

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Best Of List 2017 & 'Grid City' Track List


Kept it rolling this year. Toured, traveled, and protested our way through 2017. Some of these albums were constant companions during the year.

We are currently turning our sights to the next Love Lion release (due in early January) titled Grid City. Featuring 20 stone cold cuts from the grittiest city, Chicago. Check back soon for artwork by Lee Relvas, how to order the cassette + download, and beautiful poster by Max Morris. Here is the track list...

Brett Naucke - Flora Counterpoint II
FACS - In A Memory
Alex Barnett - Machine Learning
Lilac - Kiss The Corpse
Gula Gila - Power
Sweet Cobra - Coats
Wet Key - Lock Stays
Famous Laughs - Garage Mahal
Bret Koontz - Gloaming, Nightshade
Matt Jencik - One For Laird
ONO - Yam (The Mound Bayou Mix)

John Bellows - Fly
AZITA - True Believers
Quarter Mile Thunder - Rolling Two 
HIDE - Black Flame
Beau Wanzer - Don't Eat The Ground
Justin Demus - Penumbra
Jeremiah Meece - Ideology
Equip - Ancient Ivy Atrium
Melina Ausikaitis & Angela Mullenhour - IMAMAN

Thank yous all around to those who participated in our interview series - Matt Jencik (Implodes), Meg Duffy (Hand Habits), Liz Harris (Grouper), and Laura Lee (Khruangbin). Look for more conversations in the new year. 

Lastly, She Shreds will be hosting a feature of my photography. Check out a print copy early next year or my personal website.

Special shout out to 'coffee,' without it, none of this would be possible.


PS - Grace Jones is better at most things. 



Arthur Russell - Instrumentals (Audika)
Big Thief - Capacity (Saddle Creek)
Wand - Plum (Drag City)
Blue Iverson (Dean Blunt) - Hotep (Self-Released)
Thelonious Monk - Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Sam)
Grouper - Paradise Valley 7” (Yellow Electric)
Jaimie Branch - Fly Or Die (International Anthem)
Yellow Days - Is Everything Ok In Your World? (Doobie McQueen / Good Years Music)
Power Trip - Nightmare Logic (Southern Lord)
Slowdive - Sugar For The Pill (Dead Oceans)
Matt Jencik - Weird Times (Hands In the Dark)
V/A - Shout Music (Love Lion)
Dominique Lawalrée - First Meeting (Catch Wave)
Steve Lacy - Steve Lacy’s Demo (Three Quarter)
The Paperhead - Chew (Trouble In Mind)
The Feelies - In Between (Bar None)
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble - Find Me Finding You (Drag City)
Hand Habits - Wildly Idle (Humble Before The Void) (Woodsist)
Daniel Caesar - Freudian (Golden Child)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - On The Echoing Green (Mexican Summer)
Gaussian Curve - The Distance (Music From Memory)
Alvvays - Antisocialites (Polyvinyl)
Kendrick Lamar - Damn. (TDE)
Neil Young - Hitchhiker (Reprise)
Dean Blunt & Joanne Robertson - Wahalla (Textile)
Sharon Jones - Soul of a Woman (Daptone)
Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions - Son of a Lady EP (Tendril Tales)
Juana Molina - Halo (Crammed Discs)
Cleaners From Venus (Martin Newell) - Kitchen Table EP (Plastic Response)
Rev. Lonnie Farris - A Night at the House of Prayer (Buked & Scorned)
Kelly Lee Owens - s/t (Smalltown Supersound)
Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch - Blade Runner 2049 (Epic)

King Krule - The Ooz (XL)


Selena – Dreaming of You (Capitol)
Radiohead - OkNotOk (XL)
Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (Death Waltz)
Elliott Smith - Either/Or (Kill Rock Stars)
Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See (Capitol)
Orange Juice - Coals To Newcastle (AED)
Marisa Anderson - Traditional and Public Domain Songs (MIssissippi)


Chris Cohen tour
Charlotte Day Wilson, 1306
Christian Scott, 3 Keys
Thelma & The Sleaze, Siberia
King Woman, Castillo Blanco
Bonnie Prince Billy & Bitchin Bajas, Music Box Village
Diamanda Galás, The Joy
MonoNeon & guests, Blue Nile
Khruangbin, One Eyed Jacks x 2
Grace Jones, Primavera
Rajasthan Express, Primavera
Seckou Keita, St. Mary's
Sun Ra Arkestra, Jazz Cafe
Cass McCombs, Halfway Festival
George Clinton, Pitchfork
Newport Folk Festival
Hiss Golden Messenger & guests, Jane Pickens Theater
Frank Ocean, Øya & Flow
Princess Nokia, Flow
Solange, Hopscotch
Ariel Pink, Tipitina’s

Heron Oblivion, Riviera


Heart, Portland
Panther, Miami
Slow, Boise
Mojo, New Orleans
Monmouth, London
Jonas Reindl, Vienna
Coffee Collective, Copenhagen
Slate, Seattle
Ritual, San Francisco
Blueprint Coffee, St. Louis
Great Lakes Coffee, Detroit

> RIP Kelan Phil Cohran <

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Interview with Laura Lee of Khruangbin

Photo by Mary Kang

One of the most exciting and disciplined three-pieces playing right now is a band from Houston, Texas. Drawing inspiration from 60s funk, movie scores, and gospel music, Khruangbin's diverse palette is tangible on record and even more so during their live set. The rhythm section is the glue holding things together as guitarist Mark Speer explores and shreds precisely. Laura Lee locks down the low-end with graceful melodies and anchored strength. In combination with DJ's dialed-in grooves, the foundation of Khruangbin is unshakeable.

They are currently in the middle of an extensive US tour. You can check them out here...

3 Nov Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
3 Nov Las Vegas, NV - Backstage Bar & Billiards
4 Nov Phoenix, AZ - The Van Buren
10 Nov Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
11 Nov Sacramento, CA - Harlow's
12 Nov Reno, NV - Cargo Concert Hall, Whitney Peak Hotel
14 Nov San Luis Obispo, CA - Fremont Theater
15 Nov Fresno, CA - Strummer's
16 Nov Arcata, CA - Humboldt State University
17 Nov Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
18 Nov Seattle, WA - The Showbox
14-17 Dec Pattaya, Thailand - Wonderfruit Festival 

If seeing them live is not enough and you want to get a jump on purchasing their new record, out on Dead Oceans January 2018, pre-order here and for you early digital folks here #now.

Without further dallying, our next installment in the Love Lion interview series with Miss Laura Lee.

What was the introduction to Thai music for you and the band?

Mark [Speer] found a blog called Monrakplengthai, which translates to "I love Thai music." The site
is completely made up of uploads of old cassette tapes from Thailand. His obsession turned into a mutual one that clearly went into influencing our first recordings -- so much so, that we decided to name our band in homage to those cassettes. [Khruangbin means "engine fly"]

Khruangbin's drummer, Donald Johnson, has a background in the church. Would you say you are similar rhythm players?

I think we both appreciate similar feels. We agree on a simplicity in rhythm and compliment each other... but we aren't the same player. I respect his level of mastery too much for me to put myself in his category. DJ has been playing music his whole life, and he's an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist. He's a black belt.

I've been playing bass since just before the start of the band, and while I dabbled in piano as a kid, I still very much consider myself a white belt. But I think that's kind of the beauty of playing together. We bring out the best in each other.

Who spent time in London? What inspirations did the city offer? 

I lived in London for almost 4 years, and I loved every second of it. It was my first time living outside of Texas. I was inspired in countless ways, but in terms of music, I think the biggest take away from London was being immersed in DJ culture. If I hadn't spent the majority of that time at parties, afterparties and festivals, I wouldn't have nearly as much appreciation for the flow of a set or a record, for the build ups and break downs, and how to keep a listener's attention--consciously or subconsciously. Not to mention... my music library is vastly more expansive than it was before. I have London to thank for that.

Do you think the group will remain largely instrumental?

I don't want to ever put the limit on ourselves to have to put vocals on anything. We always write the music first. After the music is all laid down, if and only if the songs feel like they want another layer, do we add a vocal layer. It's usually pretty obvious when the songs want them, and when they do, we oblige.

I also just really love instrumental music, and I'm proud to stand behind music that is universal in that context.

What can you tell us about Khruangbin's upcoming Dead Oceans release?

The new album is called Con Todo El Mundo, an expression named for and from my grandfather. It's a largely middle-eastern inspired record, with about as many vocals as the first, recorded in the barn in the dead of cold in Texas. I absolutely love it and I can't wait to put it out.

Do you feel akin to any of our contemporaries or is your inspiration for bass rooted in older music?

My inspiration for bass is definitely rooted in older music. I learned by playing along to the Roots Radics, Serge Gainsbourg, and classic Motown
records. I can easily attribute my feel to that of dub reggae, my tone to the session players in Serge's records, and my love for pentatonics to [James] Jamerson.

What does growth musically look like specifically for a bass player?

Hmm... I guess growth is better understanding of my weapon, and how to use it. It's becoming more dexterous and aware of patterns that exist, while also hopefully maintaining a level of playfulness as a beginner.

How did you settle on SX basses?

Hahaha. I love my SX. I'm not going to lie, I bought it when I couldn't afford a Fender. So, that was basically how I came to have it, but my bass is a total champion. It has seen me through my entire time as a bass player and I have yet to change the first set of flat-wounds Mark strung on them for me. Also, I love love love the color.

What are some of the band's favorite venues to play or what constitutes a 'good' venue?
That's a tricky one. So much of the experience of any venue is the crew that works there and the audience that attends. It that sense, it boils down to the people and the energy as much as it does the space. I love playing a dirty basement as much as I enjoy playing an old church -- as long as the feeling is right.

I think the standout venue for Khruangbin thus far was Vega in Copenhagen. It was a beautiful space with wood paneling and a sort of Mad Men-style bar in the back. It was also probably the best reception we've ever experienced when we walked out on stage. I'll never forget it.

Slap bass, fretless, or, Hofner violin bass?

Hofner. 100 times over. Mark has a knock off one that I've adopted as my second child, and I play it quite a bit on the new album. I love the tone of that thing. Plus, it's a short-scale and weighs nothing. Total winner.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Interview With Liz Harris of Grouper

"Here are my 'too-long' answers..." opened the response to an email exchange we've kept over the past few months. Between and after some extensive travel and touring (Grouper performed shows in Australia and worked on a project in Russia this summer), we arranged some questions which prompted a series of thoughtful responses. We could not be more pleased to present our second interview (the first being for Alarm Magazine in 2011) and subsequent second conversation in Love Lion's interview series with Oregon's own Liz Harris.

Most recently, Grouper followed the grainy and dreamy Paradise Valley 7" by sharing an unreleased track titled "Children" from the Ruins sessions. The release coincided with Bandcamp's call to action for and donation to the Transgender Law Center on August 4 of this yearHarris gives her listeners some insight via her Bandcamp page into the origins of "Children" recorded around the time of a 2014 long-player on Kranky Records.
"Towards the end of making RUINS I wrote a song that never made it onto the album. Though it felt aesthetically similar, something about the content and energy felt distinct in a way that didn't fit the rest of the music. I pushed it away, unsure what to do with it, and eventually forgot I'd recorded it. This year, amidst chaotic and painful political times, while working on another project, it reemerged and made more sense."
If you are lucky enough to be near any of the three locations for the upcoming tour, we (highly) recommend seeing one the following live sets this fall. Sparse, restrained, and precise it is unlike nearly any other live performance we've seen.

09/30 Venus Festival
Artscape Daniels Spectrum
Toronto, ON

11/09 Le Guess Who?
Utrecht, Netherlands

12/08 Unsound Dislocation
Barbican Centre
London, UK

Love Lion: You release in small editions and routinely on your own. Do you have a preference in keeping your projects self-released?

Liz Harris: It’s the only time I can come close to controlling exactly how an object ends up. There are things I literally can’t do with most labels that I want/need to — have an album cover without any text on it, for example, or no song titles or band name on the album at all, or skip doing press altogether. I enjoy the release process and take pride in knowing how to do it, pride in doing it with extreme care and in my own way. I get to hire and pay friends and interact with people directly. Studying art and printmaking gave me an appreciation for the vehicle and a love for making editions. When that album leaves and enters someone else’s life it is no longer yours, it’s theirs, and has to carry its own life force.

Sometimes it's nice to do both, as I have a few times recently with Kranky Records, pressing about 500-1000 for YE [Yellow Electric] that I sell through my own distro or Bandcamp. I like that I know how to, and could if I truly desired, but when it comes down to it I don’t want to deal with more than a thousand or so records at a time. 

In addition, stubbornness/hatred/lack of patience or interest in press means that YE efforts in the past have consisted of emailing three people the day of a release with one line of text. Plus, I don’t have wide distro wihch I'm OK with at times. I’ve found it great to work with Kranky on projects for which these aspects needed more emphasis. I’ve also really enjoyed work with some other small labels over the years, like Root Strata and Room40. I’m lucky to also call these people my friends.

Has your music appeared in movies? How do you feel about film scores?

A few times, experiences ranging from shit to bliss. Being picky about licensing has kept me from working with a proper publisher. Most of them want you to be open to commercial work which, for the most part, I am not. I recently licensed a song to a television show [you guys are going to flip]. It was one of a handful of times someone offered me an appealing, respectful and professional contract right off the bat. The times a genuinely compelling context and fee align are few and far between.
Perhaps my most enriching experiences working with film have been with Paul Clipson [director of Cruel Optimism & Feeler]. We made a feature length film and score called HYPNOSIS DISPLAY a few years ago. We have a mutual inspiration that is easeful and intuitive. We’re making another film/sound piece for CineChamber soon.

In addition to recording music, most know you are a visual artist. Which have you been focusing on lately or do you generally do both at the same time?

I go back and forth. At times they feed each other. I do most of the album artwork (exceptions including the beautiful photos Sarah Meadows lent for A I A and several photos my father took.) I guess the last few years have seen more of a drift towards prioritizing music. I did some epic (90 x 38 feet) mural work in Portland a few years ago and it gave me pause, to be honest. The amount of stress and time involved. I dream of having as much time as I want for both. Often now, I remember a comment in conversation with my friend Sergio quite a while back that, at the time did not but now, makes sense. How I must be making sacrifices trying to do justice to both. I feel pain at that, at the death of ideas — they are beings, so heavy to fail them but I also want to go for a walk or sit with my dog, go on a date, or show up for a protest. The balance can feel hard, I guess for anyone.

Do you find you work best at a residency/away or can you be creative at home?

I’m still working my way back to enjoying casually playing at home. In 2008/9 a balance changed and for a year or more instead of recording I would add new song titles to a list. All the while more people trying to talk to me about this thing I was still denying that I was doing -- making music. It felt like a knife stab when anyone asked me about music. I was living next to a power station and forcing myself to dredge old songs in a basement studio everyday. All of this combined into a crushing weight. The songs like people, friends, and that list were a symbol of everyone I was letting down. Folks talking about my practice to me was a constant reminder that I was being watched and judged throughout. I still have this list and I would like someday to burn it. I developed a phobia of playing music casually. When there is a new song, there is such pressure to follow through and do it justice. It’s draining without management. For a long while I mostly longed to shut it off.

Residencies allow me to compartmentalize and contain it all; they’re helpful for this reason. There are the nostalgic and thought-based stimulants that travel and emotional/physical distance give. I’ve had residencies where all I did was sleep, ones where I felt too pressured to work on anything good, and four now where I recorded a release. I’m a little reticent at this point to continue to say when something was made at a residency because the physical landscape has the potential to overcrowd the story of the music, which is always so internal. At this point, the place-refrain feels a little repetitive or absurd.

What are your feelings on venues? You are primarily playing galleries this summer. How do you choose where to perform your music?

I don’t like playing in classic club venues. It’s not about a pristine environment, crowd, place -- noise can be a perfect murmur in the background almost like another layer of tape hiss. Some where with history, with windows, where one can hear the cars passing or a train roll by, with wide and reverberant acoustics, an audience who came to listen, conditions that allow the audience to listen comfortably, a graveyard, a chapel, a house or an art space, seems a kind of poetic residue that adds to this music.

Once I started being invited to play such places it just felt hard and wrong for the music to go back to the black box, loud bar and fog machine. So as I began to feel more confident about making requests about shows I started asking to play in accessible venues without bars, without smoking, and with seating for the audience.

What are you looking forward to working on? Projects you're excited about?

I’m excited for Nivhek, I’m excited to be home more and chill with my 16 year old dog, and I’m researching getting a small boat with bio-diesel or electric trolling motor on it.

What is your dream job outside of playing music?

My dream job is not performing music. Most of my job ideas are more non-paying adventures than careers. I took a career test in my twenties and remember “related to the spirituality or the occult/religious leader” and “sailor." I’ve followed through on “sailor” --- I love very much being on the water. I do sailing races on my friend’s boat every summer in Astoria and am looking into getting a small boat with an electric outboard to toot around the Columbia River.

I’d like to get a shit job on a container ship or find a sailboat to crew on and do a trans-oceanic voyage at some point before I die. I volunteer at a National Park here in Astoria. Basically, I just pick up trash and kick rocks off the trails but I get to wear a uniform and use a walkie-talkie which is about 80% of the pleasure if I’m entirely honest. I’d really like to drive in a car race or demolition derby. I’d like to be paid to walk around or hike. My month-long hiking trip in New Zealand two years ago definitely cost me money though so still some work to be done there I guess. So far, as paying jobs go -- I spent my 20’s working with differently abled adults and I miss it every day. I love care-work, with children, elders, animals, whomever. It feels challenging and rewarding in a straightforward way that music doesn’t.
Hike, beach or long train ride?

Sailboat race.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Cropped Out Festival, Louisville, Kentucky

3125 River Road
Louisville, KY, USA

SEPTEMBER 22-23, 2017

ATTIC TALENT (Lexington, KY / St. Louis, MO)

BATHROOM LAWS (Louisville, KY)


CIRCLE X (New York, NY)

CRAZY DOBERMAN (Lafayette, IN / East Lansing, MI)



EXACTA CUBE (Louisville, KY)



FRIED EGG (Richmond, VA)


JOHN BENDER (Cincinnati, OH)

LE FRUIT VERT (Louiville, KY / Montreal, QC)

LIMES (Memphis, TN)

LUNG (Cincinnati, OH)




PILE (Boston, MA)

RAYS (Oakland, CA)

ROYAL TRUX (Castleton, VA)





TASHI DORJI & TYLER DAMON (Asheville, NC / Bloomington, IN)

THE FALL (Prestwich, EN)

THE OTHER YEARS (Louisville, KY)



WOMBO (Louisville, KY)

PLUS: local / regional artists, artisans, food trucks, craft 'n' crap beer, vendor booths, shitty tattoos, even shittier haircuts, hunks, punks, skunks (scratching at your tent flaps), friends of all shapes, potatoes chips of all brands, basketball, bonfires, and much, much more!

EARLY BIRD PASSES: A limited quantity of discounted "Early Bird" weekend passes (good for both FRI/SAT -- with or without camping) are NOW AVAILABLE. Once the Early Bird passes are flown, the cost will go up to regular "advance ticket" price.

Early Bird worms can be gotten online via PayPal at

OR locally from our friends at Fat Rabbit Thrift & Vintage + Guestroom Records Louisville (PLEASE pay with CASH!)

COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT - croppedout AT gmail DOT com